Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: My translation of Origen's Commentaries created no excitement; his first translation, of Pamphilus' Apology, roused all Rome to indignation.
8. I had given Latin versions, as my friend tauntingly says, of seventy books of Origen, and of some parts of his Tomes, but no question was ever raised about my work; no commotion was felt on the subject in Rome. What need was there to commit to the ears of the Latins what Greece denounces and the whole world blames? I, though translating many of Origens work in the course of many years, never created a scandal: but you, though unknown before, have by your first and only work become notorious for your rash proceeding. Your Preface tells us that you have also translated the work of Pamphilus the martyr in defence p. 487 of Origen; and you strive with all your might to prevent the church from condemning a man whose faith the martyr attests. The real fact is 3013 that Eusebius Bishop of Cæsarea, as I have already said before, who was in his day the standard bearer of the Arian faction, wrote a large and elaborate work in six books in defence of Origen, showing by many testimonies that Origen was in his sense a catholic, that is, in our sense, an Arian. The first of these six books you have translated and assigned it to the martyr. I must not wonder, therefore, that you wish to make me, a small man and of no account, appear as an admirer of Origen, when you bring the same calumny against the martyr. You change a few statements about the Son of God and the holy Spirit, which you knew would offend the Romans, and let the rest go unchanged from beginning to end; you did, in fact, in the case of this Apology of Pamphilus as you call it, just what you did in the translation of Origens Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν. If that book is Pamphiluss, which of the six books is Eusebiuss first? In the very volume which you pretend to be Pamphiluss, mention is made of the later books. Also, in the second and following books, Eusebius says that he had said such and such things in the first book and excuses himself for repeating them. If the whole work is Pamphiluss, why do you not translate the remaining books? If it is the work of the other, why do you change the name? You cannot answer; but the facts make answer of themselves: You thought that men would believe the martyr, though they would have turned in abhorrence from the chief of the Arians.
See this question fully argued out by Lightfoot in the Dict. of Christian Biography, Art. Eusebius of Cæsaria. He says: “The Defence of Origen was the joint work of Pamphilus and Eusebius:” and “Jeromes treatment of this matter is a painful exhibition of disingenuousness, &c.” See De V. Ill. lxxv.
Next: But the work was really Eusebius's, who tells us that Pamphilus wrote nothing.
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